Herbert Stern, the lawyer hired by then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to monitor UMDNJ as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, has found himself at the wrong end of a lawsuit filed by a former client.
The lawsuit by former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio alleges that among other things, Stern's attorneys overbilled him while representing him during a six-week-long trial on insider trading charges. Nacchio was convicted and sentenced to 70 months in prison. His fines and restitution amounted to $70 million.
Now he is suing Stern and his firm Stern & Kilcullen LLC alleging negligence in the handling of his case. But the suit also alleges that among the $25 million Stern billed for the defense, were charges for thousands of dollars of staff breakfasts, in-room movies and underwear.
Nacchio also claims that Stern's firm billed for "duplicative and unnecessary work" including seven attorneys to attend a court appearance.
According to the suit, Stern's firm was "negligent and careless in handling the defense of the criminal action," which resulted in the barring of a key Nacchio witness.
The suit alleges that the trial judge noted Stern's "gross defect in failing to reveal the methodology of a key witness."
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"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran- Star-Ledger
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